Officials of the Guangzhou Port Authority attend a press conference on a cruise boat on May 3. [Photo/Guangzhou Port Group]
The number of tourists taking the Pearl River Night Cruise boomed during the five-day May Day holiday, the first peak since cruise services resumed in March, officials of the Guangzhou Port Authority said at a press conference on May 3.
Taking a night cruise along the Pearl River is a classic and popular tourist activity in Guangzhou. Passengers onboard can enjoy better views of the city illuminated by colorful lights.
Check the video to get a glimpse of the light show along the Pearl River, celebrating China's Youth Day, which falls on May 4. [Video/Guangzhou Daily]
“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we had suspended all cruise operations on the Pearl River for 54 days, starting from the Spring Festival,” Chen Jiannian, deputy general manager of the Guangzhou Port Group said.
As the epidemic has leveled off across the country, the port authority and cruise companies have worked together to resume the Pearl River Night Cruise. After having conducted a thorough investigation of all ticket offices, security checkpoints, and waiting and embarkation areas, officials upgraded emergency response measures and restarted the Pearl River Night Cruise on March 19.
“However, passenger traffic barely surpassed 1,000 on a single night,” Yuan Yue, deputy director general of the port authority said. “We recorded 20,435 cruise passengers on 390 trips as of the last day of April.”
Yuan noted that on the night of April 30, 16 cruise tours were completed by nine ships, carrying 1,023 passengers.
“The holiday drives strong growth in passenger flow, which jumped to 4,656 on May 1, about 20% of that of the same period last year, with 48 trips offered by 26 cruise ships,” Yuan said. “The passenger volume continued to rise on May 2, closing at 4,674, with 52 sailings.”
When the night falls, the Pearl River and the building complexes on the banks are lightened up. [Photo/Wang Yan, Luo Changwei, Guangzhou Daily]
To ensure the health and safety of all, cruise lines have limited the number of tourists on board, down to 40% of the total passenger capacity, and adopted social-distance seating, Yuan reported.
Each cruise ship will undertake no more than three trips a night. The ships are cleaned and disinfected regularly and properly ventilated to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Cruise operators also have introduced contactless ticket services, and tourists are required to have their temperature checked before boarding.
“Resumption of the Pearl River Cruise contributes to the recovery of the city’s tourism sector,” Chen said. “It is also worth noting that nowadays, more and more local young people like to take the cruise tour.”
The port authority said it is pushing forward the application of clean energy ships to ensure sustainability of the Pearl River Cruise. Three all-electric newbuilds are expected to go into service this year.
Editor: Pauline Tai
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